Using whole-body vibration training in patients affected with common neurological diseases: a systematic literature review

J Altern Complement Med. 2012 Jan;18(1):29-41. doi: 10.1089/acm.2010.0691. Epub 2012 Jan 10.


Objectives: This systematic review critically evaluates the effects of whole body vibration (WBV) exercises on gait, balance, proprioception, strength, and health-related quality of life in patients with common neurological diseases. It specifically focuses on assessing the quality of reported studies and comparing quantitative results.

Design: This is a systematic literature review.

Results: A specific search strategy of 11 databases identified 13 published articles (5 studies of patients with Parkinson disease, 2 with cerebral palsy, 3 with multiple sclerosis, and 3 with stroke) that fulfilled the selection criteria. The quality of the articles was evaluated using a Physiotherapy Evidence Database scale and Dutch Institute for Healthcare Improvement guidelines.

Conclusions: There is moderate evidence that one session of WBV has positive effects on strength, whereas there is a weak level of evidence that WBV could improve proprioception and health-related quality of life measures in neurological patients. With respect to long-term effects of WBV, there is minor evidence from the studies with the best methodological quality that WBV improves strength, proprioception, gait, and balance. Further research on the intervention is strongly needed.

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Palsy / therapy
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Gait
  • Humans
  • Multiple Sclerosis / therapy
  • Nervous System Diseases / therapy*
  • Parkinson Disease / therapy
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Stroke / therapy
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vibration*